NPD: October video game sales rise 1 percent

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. retail sales of video game hardware, software and accessories rose 1 percent to $1.08 billion in October, helped by sales of “Battlefield 3,” market researcher NPD Group said Friday.

Hardware sales, which include game consoles such as the Xbox 360 and the Nintendo Wii, rose 6 percent from October 2010 to $295.6 million.

Sales of software, or the video games themselves, rose 3 percent to $621.3 million.

That’s well short of the 21 percent year-over-year increase that Cowen and Co. analyst Doug Creutz was expecting. Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter, meanwhile, was forecasting a 14 percent software sales growth.

When including PC games in addition to games for consoles and hand-held gaming devices such as the Nintendo DS, software sales rose 1 percent to $649.5 million.

“Battlefield 3,” a military shooter from Electronic Arts Inc. was the month’s best-selling game with just under 2 million units sold.

The year’s biggest game, “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3” went on sale Nov. 8 so it’s not counted in the current sales figures.

NPD does not include game downloads and online games played on Facebook and mobile devices in its monthly retail sales data.

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